Archive for February, 2010

Body Pride

Yet another victim of pregnancy and baby loss was pride in my body.  I had never been terribly fond of mine pre-pregnancy, and the girls and Bug behind me, I downright hated it.

It, my body, was what failed.  It let my water break, forcing the girls out early (even though when I think logically I know they would not have made it regardless).  It failed again when Bug didn’t develop right … when I then didn’t miscarry on my own.  

Even throughout my pregnancy with Kai, it’s ability to do what it was supposed to was tenuous.  I was sick, in pain, and always terrified that any day could be the last.

So, it came as a great surprise the other day when I realized that I again have pride in my body.  I don’t hate it anymore. 

I realized this as I struggle to introduce Kai to rice cereal.  At almost 5 months, he is showing signs of being ready, and with him eating a ton, and having serious spitting issues, well, it really could be anytime.

But for some reason I have been hesitating.  It took me awhile to figure it out.  It isn’t that I love breast-feeding itself.  It works for us, no doubt, but I don’t feel that emotional about it either way.

The other day, it finally hit me.  After 40 weeks of growing inside, and almost 5 months outside, my body has managed to grow this.

A happy, healthy, seriously pudgy handsome little man.  My body has managed this … no outside help required.  He has given me back a little bit of respect and pride for what my body can do.

And cereal, well, it will change that.  I know that one day soon I will give in – pull out the box, make him a bowl, and most likely totally make his day.  But it won’t be today, or tomorrow.  Right now I am just basking in him.

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Baby-Loss Parenting

Lately I find myself wondering what kind of parents DH and I would have been without losing the girls before Kai.  If our twins had survived, how would we have done things differently?

I know that at the core, we would have been the same.  We would have still loved our kids to death, wanted the best for them, been focused on making the best life possible.

But I also know that it would have been different.  Case in point (or in four) –

  • I didn’t read a single parenting book before Kai was born.  To this day, I have still read very few.  Why?  To be honest, it seemed inconsequential … live baby was the goal, the rest was just icing.  I know I would have been a book junkie with the twins.
  • For the last several months, we have struggled with sleep issues with Kai.  Despite this, I can’t bring myself to regret holding him while he slept for the first three months of his life.  I still don’t regret it for a single minute, even the ones at 4:00am.  And yet, I think that I would have sung a different tune on this if our twins had survived.  I imagine I would have been a schedule/sleep routine junky.  Neither is bad … just different.
  • I smother my baby in smooches all day long, carry him around like a little Monkey baby, and generally cater to most of his desires – even if it is to sing “Down by the Bay” in a deep voice while jiggling his toes YET again.  Many people question this approach, deeming it a sure way to spoil my little man.  To be honest, at this point, I don’t care even if it does.  He is here.  Period.   I will enjoy all the moments.  I think that if I hadn’t experienced loss, I probably would have stressed out more about spoiling kids … worried more about long-term consequences. 
  • No matter how frustrating the day is, at the end of it, I tiptoe into Kai’s room and plant at least one more kiss on his baby forehead, whispering “Mama Loves You” into his subconscious.  This I believe I still would have done, but there probably wouldn’t have been the tears that often fall when I do it now … I just feel so blessed to be able to do it at all.

Honestly, I am not even sure what the point of this post is.  It isn’t that one way is better or worse, or that I can measure the differences … it is more just that I have wondered … knowing that we are different because of our loss.

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My Little Man

I love this kid to bits … so much it almost hurts. 

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On Raising a Man

I found myself daydreaming the other day while watching some young kids play hockey … I was imagining Kai in a few years, wondering if he too would be into this Canadian game.  And it hit me … that’s his future.

The future, a strangely absent thing these past couple of years.  After Avery and Sophie were born, we thought about life in hours and days.  It was all about surviving the raw pain.  Over time, it became about the 2 week wait, the months, then “until the baby is born.”  But beyond that, never.  Along with our babies, thoughts about the distant future disappeared.

Even once Kai arrived, the future consisted of small increments – “when he sleeps through the night (yet to happen)”, “when he starts to smile”, etc..  The other day really was the first time the future occurred to me – at least beyond the immediate babyhood of Kai anyhow.

I sat stunned, thinking about it.  In all likelihood, I will get to see my son at 2, at 5, at 15, at 25 and beyond. We will watch our little boy grow up, guiding him in the right direction, helping him along the path.

The future is exciting, scary, intimidating, and beautiful to think about.  We are not just parenting a baby, we are raising a man.

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